If you own a puppy, you will often face biting and nipping. What makes puppies bite you? Is it just a spontaneous habit, a way of expressing their feelings, or a sign of being mischievous? Lets find out the reasons and how to stop my puppy from biting when excited!
Puppies tend to bite you for several reasons, most commonly when they are excited. When you bring home a new puppy, you become its new family, and it attaches to you quickly as it seeks love.
Moreover, puppies are playful and lively by nature. All put together, they usually feel excited when they see their family. The excitement is expressed in multiple ways, and biting is one. In this article, we will be looking into what causes this and how you can avoid it.
If your puppy keeps biting you all the time, you will likely find it annoying. On a more serious note, if you keep ignoring it, the puppy will grow up pursuing that habit, creating more trouble in the future.
So how can you stop your puppy from biting you when excited? There are several ways to discourage your puppy’s biting and nipping behavior. Training is vital to avoid this behavior; besides, following positive reinforcement methods, giving chew toys, paying attention to the dog, keeping them occupied, and using deterrent sprays will significantly help you diminish your puppy’s biting behavior.
Dogs express their emotions via gestures and body language. Compared to adult dogs, young puppies can be more reckless as they do not have a clear idea of what should and shouldn’t they do.
Puppies get excited to see you pretty much every time, and they show it through biting, nipping, and mouthing. This is a common behavioral trait among puppies and not something to worry about.
However, you cannot simply deny it and let your puppy continue the behavior. As said, if you do not stop them from biting you from a young age, they will keep doing it, and it will be harder for you to convince the dog to stop it.
Keep reading to figure out how to stop your puppy from biting you when excited.
Why is my puppy biting when excited?
Dogs are typically playful and lively animals; puppies, in particular, are more enthusiastic and energetic. Therefore puppies burst with excitement whenever they have the family around. It has been scientifically proven that dogs are more excited to see their humans than anything else.
Researchers at Emory University conducted research where they studied MRI scans of dogs’ brains, and it shows that the dogs’ temporal lobes lit up more when they saw human faces rather than ordinary objects.
Excitement will impact your young dog in many ways. The emotional stimuli puppies get when they are excited to lead them to exhibit hyped behavior, including biting and nipping.
Let’s try to understand this more elaboratively. When the excitement level of your puppy increases, it makes them act hyperactively. This is not necessarily bad because it is just a spontaneous way for puppies to showcase their behavior.
The biting caused by excitement is also known as arousal biting, which does not usually indicate aggressive behavior.
How to stop my puppy from biting when excited?
There could be times when you do not feel bothered about your puppy’s biting behavior. However, this could also bother you a lot at certain times. If you think this behavior will fade away automatically as the dog grows up, your assumption is not very accurate.
If you do not take action to prevent your puppy from biting you when excited, the puppy will probably adhere to that behavior to express its excitement.
Therefore you must take appropriate actions as soon as possible to address this concern. Let’s find out what steps you can take to stop this behavior of your puppy.
- Familiarize the puppy with basic commands
You should always train your dog young because it makes the training process more accessible and more effective. You must teach your puppy to behave itself. If the puppy bites you a lot when they are excited, you have to persuade them that they are doing something unwanted.
In order to do that, you must ensure that your puppy knows the basic commands well. If your puppy tries to bite you when you are around, use basic commands such as “stop” and “go” and convince the puppy not to do it.
When you constantly keep doing it, the puppy will understand that they shouldn’t do it. However, remember that commands will prevent the puppy from biting you, but you must provide options for your puppy to convey their excitement.
Such substitutes will be discussed in the coming sub-sections.
- Train alternative behavior
If you want your puppy not to bite you when excited, you should train it to express emotions differently. Training alternative behavior does not mean yelling or punishing the dog and forcefully shifting its focus to something else.
If you are harsh on the puppy, you will never be able to mitigate this behavior. So, you must smartly train them to follow alternative behavior instead of biting you. When puppies are excited, they get pumped with energy and release that energy through running, jumping, and even biting.
However, if you train the puppy, it will learn to express its energy differently instead of biting. For instance, if your puppy often bites you when they are happy and excited, you can avoid them biting you and give them a chew toy as an alternative.
There are chew toys made explicitly for puppies. Let your puppy be familiar with the chew toys, and encourage them to bite them, not you. When you keep training the puppy for such alternatives, it will eventually stop biting you and follow the alternative to express its excitement.
- Positive reinforcement
What if you let your puppy continue its biting behavior? Suppose you keep pointing fingers and toes at the puppy and encourage it to bite you because you think it is fun and the puppy enjoys it; things could turn out to be deficient in the long run.
As we know, puppies are playful creatures, so they will surely have fun nipping you. However, if you let the puppy do it for quite some time, it will be hard to stop them from doing it.
Therefore you should never encourage the puppy to do it. Instead, you should teach your puppy not to do it, and if the dog obeys, you can follow positive reinforcement methods.
To elaborate, you can use treats to prevent your puppy from biting you. If the puppy gets excited and starts biting you, you can shift its attention to something else, and if the puppy listens to you and follow the substitutes, you can reward the good behavior by giving them a treat.
Positive reinforcement always helps puppies to keep up the good behavior.
- Give sufficient exercise
You should always make sure that you let your puppy unleash its energy. If your puppy does not get to let its energy out, it will likely show it through reckless behavior, probably biting.
As mentioned, puppies always get excited, and when they are an excited lot of energy piles up within their bodies. Giving sufficient exercise to your puppy will help to release its excess energy, which will avoid its biting behavior.
If you own a puppy, make sure you regularly spare some time to play with it, take it for outside strolls, and teach it how to play on its own. When the dogs get plenty of ways to release energy, they will get over biting and nipping.
- Make the puppy relax and calm
Puppies are active and lively, which is why they are usually excited. Nevertheless, they must also be relaxed and calm to control their emotions.
It is essential that your puppy get adequate physical activities, and it is also crucial that they get enough rest. Because if the puppy is restless, that will also lead to destructive behavior such as biting.
Help your puppy to let out their emotions in a calm manner. For example, several brain games help keep the puppy occupied yet calm and relaxed.
Final thoughts about puppies’ biting when excited
Biting is a common behavior that you can observe among puppies. They tend to bite you for several reasons, most commonly as a way of expressing their excitement. Puppies always burst with energy, and biting is a spontaneous way of letting it out.
Therefore you cannot complain about your puppy biting you. Although it happens out of your puppy’s control, you, as the owner, can take action to prevent your puppy from doing it.
Consistent training, positive reinforcement methods, providing alternatives, giving sufficient exercises, keeping them busy, and helping to relax will encourage your puppy to overcome the biting behavior in times of excitement.
As pointed out, puppies often get excited, filling them with energy, and they need to let go of their excess energy. However, it is also vital that you teach them to express it in the correct way.
Stay with us to find answers to your burning questions about four-legged furry friends.